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(27 Posts)
TheSumofUs Wed 05-Mar-14 14:19:33

The Handle Program has been recommended to us (

Does any one have any experience with this technique?

Thank you

ouryve Wed 05-Mar-14 14:46:46

That website is full of fine words, yet says so little.

TheSumofUs Wed 05-Mar-14 17:19:31

Yes it's vague isn't it

Our occupational therapist suggested it as an option

She said effectively it's an OT program for six intensive months where they assess the child and train the parents to do specific things each day with the child and the do a formal eval every four weeks and update therapy as needed

It's an option instead of once a week therapy at the clinic

She said it's intensive but extremely effective and not for everyone because it requires 30 minutes everyday commitment from a caregiver

I just wondered if anyone had done anything like it and what the pros and cons might be

I like the sound of it .....

TheSumofUs Wed 05-Mar-14 20:03:09

Just bumping to see if anyone has had experience they can share ....

blossbloss Wed 05-Mar-14 21:25:11

We have done the HANDLE program for three years now with our DD who has diagnoses of ASD, ADHD, Dsypraxia and Dyslexia and and are now starting with our DS who has Sensory Processing Disorder and is under assessment for ASD and ADHD.

As with all these things I think a lot depends on the professional delivering the program and we are very lucky with ours.

With DD we saw results instantly. Her sleep improved dramatically and within a few days she could tell left from right. It has dramatically improved her sensory issues, fine motor skills, binocular instability, anxiety, sleep and speech. We are hoping for similar results with our DS. We tend to view the HANDLE program as the core therapy we do and everything else as extra and it is the best therapy we have had for our children.

I think the literature is deliberately vague as the exercises should only be done as the practitioner sees fits. We do different ones with DS than with DD for instance and in different ways. Whilst there may not be a lot of researched evidence regarding the program we can see the results for ourselves.

The pros I think are that is is flexible and led by the child's needs. It is very gentle and adopts a less is more approach. The exercises are designed to be fun and don't require lots of expensive equipment.

The cons are the time and money it requires as it is not cheap and is a big commitment time wise. Sometimes life is too hectic and we take a break for a while or cut back on the amount of exercises we are doing.

You could always try it and see what you think?

bochead Wed 05-Mar-14 21:28:58

At first glance it seems to be a similar approach to the one used by Tinsley House. TH has numerous threads over in the special needs forum so might be worth reviewing.

StarlightMcKingsThree Wed 05-Mar-14 22:01:47

There is no evidence base for Handle. Having said that I think some aspects might be useful if they would just bloody well get on and do some research.

However, even good practice is shite if done wrongly, and without the research and evidence base to direct the implementation I think you'd be much better spending your resources on interventions with more proof.

MariaNotChristmas Sat 08-Mar-14 23:09:45

Pseudo-scientific nonsense, I'm afraid. And there are much cheaper, easier placebos and 'non-specific interventions' about.

The accepted technical term is neurobollocks

There is some limited evidence for the alert programme and 'ordinary' sensory integration.

MariaNotChristmas Sat 08-Mar-14 23:20:52

I bet blossbloss's effective therapist has plucked out HANDLE's 'careful observation' and 'gentle touch' techniques, then invented her own fusion of sensory integration interventions via mini-ABA methods.

A talented worker will nearly always pick out a child's most pressing issues, then work on them, little by little. If they systematically use the responses they see, to adjust their approach, then they'll speed the progress. If they do this without realising, they'll often credit their (theoretical) method with their own (personal) effectiveness.

TheSumofUs Sat 08-Mar-14 23:35:48

Wow - fairly strong views then

Thanks for sharing grin

MariaNotChristmas Sun 09-Mar-14 00:13:34

Just been playing with the ASD questionnaires on a thread a Polter pointed me to. Didn't score highly on the 'tact' items blush

The theoretical underpinnings the therapy are fairly bogus-looking. But that doesn't necessarily make the practitioners useless, and the important thing re ANY intervention is whether your particular child does well on it.

Even placebo has a good success rate, much better than doing nowt.

MariaNotChristmas Sun 09-Mar-14 00:17:31

The Neurobollocks blogger is my current hero.

ouryve Sun 09-Mar-14 01:00:38

Neurobollocks is a fab term grin

TheSumofUs Sun 09-Mar-14 06:07:22

Thing is, i have spoken with two separate families who swear it made a significant difference

Isnt it just intensive home based occupational therapy?

PolterGoose Sun 09-Mar-14 08:27:37

Isnt it just intensive home based occupational therapy?

Hmm, but provided by practitioners who aren't OTs.

We've been using sensory interventions for around 4 years now, ds has competed the Alert programme Maria linked above.

IMHO sensory interventions can be hugely effective but they don't need to part of an expensive programme. It helps to have a decent OT sensory assessment (NHS or private) to get you going, but the rest is not rocket science and easily DIYed. The most important thing is that sensory interventions are incorporated into daily life, not separate. There are plenty of good books and resources to use. The Alert Programme is a way for a child to learn how to use sensory techniques themselves in their everyday life, the programme provides a systematic way for the child to identify their mood and use the techniques that work for them.

TheSumofUs Sun 09-Mar-14 13:46:11


Our OT at our clinic is the one who recommend it - she administers it with us - does that make a difference ?

TheSumofUs Sun 09-Mar-14 13:48:11

Well, she "would " administer it if we move forward

Cost is the same as weekly clinic session which is why I am trying to weighs pros and cons because for us it's cost neutral as well as done but qualified OT

zzzzz Mon 10-Mar-14 00:07:46

Is it reward neutral for her? By which I mean will her I come be effected?

My ds has made huge progress over the last few years with no "therapy" at all. If I was doing a program I am sure I would assume his massive leap was due to that therapy. I am not saying I don't work with him, I'm saying I would be evangelical about any intervention that seemed to drive development.

TheSumofUs Mon 10-Mar-14 00:30:10

Means that therapy in clinic once per week is same price as the handle therapy in our own home

Yes I see what you mean about perceived cause and effect - at this time though I feel he needs help - I just want to choose the right type of help

zzzzz Mon 10-Mar-14 15:03:30

The question about money is really to highlight that the same price for you may in fact be a very different income for the professional you are talking to. For example if she is paid a flat salary at her clinic, but per patient if she treats them at home them this represents a significant rise in the professionals income. A bit like a teacher being paid to tutor in the evening.

It doesn't mean her advice is wrong, just it is important to understand everyones "gain" in any situation.

My ds prefers to go to a clinic rather than have people in our house (which is lucky because so do I). I fond keeping home "homey" has been a very important aspect of managing the enormous intrusion that having a child with SN brings to your life.

TheSumofUs Mon 10-Mar-14 16:05:01

Thanks zzzzz

I see what you mean

I think I really want handle to be the answer because ds doesn't like or want to leave the home and doesn't like clinic which is one reason why our OT recommended we consider this other method because she thought it might suit him better

We put both options in front of ds and discussed pros and cons as we knew them (minus the money which is not ds' concern) - he greatly prefers home based therapy

I just wasn't sure about whether they truly were comparable therapies or whether I was doing something wrong for him

I think we might try It on the basis that I don't think it will harm him .... And hopefully it might accelerate his adoption of the therapies

ouryve Mon 10-Mar-14 16:47:56

That sounds like a good approach to take. And it's good that the therapist already knows him. If it's not working or he's resisting the exercises, you can always re-think. Probably best to discuss that possibility with your therapist, first, of course, so you're not committed to 3 months worth of sessions that aren't helping or that are making him resentful.

blossbloss Mon 10-Mar-14 17:40:27

In our experience the exercises should be tailored to your child, so if he is reluctant the therapist should factor that into his exercise plan. They are usually fun and can be adapted to suit each child's preferences. They certainly shouldn't harm him!

MariaNotChristmas Tue 11-Mar-14 08:30:57

To summarise what I think you're saying:

Your OT is good
the stuff she's doing now is helping
she will continue doing much the same
more conveniently
for the same price
but with a different 'name'

I still think the theory behind HANDLE is neurobollocks, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating... and if she sticks to the bits that your ds (measurably) benefits from, then why not.

StarlightMcKingsThree Tue 11-Mar-14 08:37:01

What Maria said.

There ain't no evidence that a holiday in the Caribbean would help me, and yet I have enough knowledge of my circumstances to believe strongly that it would.

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